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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It Will Be Mine, Oh Yes, It Will Be...

I've always had a soft spot for motorcycles, but especially British motorcycles.

I'm not much for Japanese sport bikes, maybe because the last time I rode I laid down a friend's Ninja and did damage I couldn't afford to pay for. Kinda damaged the friendship. That was 20 years ago, and the reason I haven't been on a motorcycle since, I decided right then and there that next time it'd be my bike and nobody to hate me except myself if I fucked it up.

A motorcycle isn't the kind of hobby you can wade into gently, especially if you lack the mechanical gifts to buy one for $17 and figure out a way to rig paperclips together to make it run in your spare time.

I'd love a Harley, don't get me wrong. They're great motorcycles, and having toured a Harley plant I'm convinced those red-eyed fanatics would cut off their own fingers before they passed on a defective part, but Harleys are freakin' expensive.

A Triumph that is at least as cool looking, will kill you just as quickly, and lists for a third the price, that's more like it.

So around the corner from my work, there's this new motorcycle/scooter dealer and I thought I saw me some Triumphs there, but on closer inspection, it's another British brand, Royal Enfield.

And as with Triumph, the price is right. More than I can afford, to be sure, but thanks to being built in India (outsourced since 1954, and no money wasted trying to update the styling), these pups sell for seven grand new. That's only a down payment on a new Harley.

The engines are modern, all electronically fuel injected and whatnot, but the styling is classic, it's 1954 and England still has a remnant of empire left.

Thing is, I can't afford one of these toys new, but my hope is I can pick up a gently used one in a few years when my economic situation isn't as laughable and someone else maybe realizes he needs to get out from under that motorcycle loan at umpteen percent and be done with it.

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